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The subject of this section, in relation to the Old and New Testament revelation of "God," is the Effluent Manifestation of the Eternal Father in the Cherubim.
The first place where "Cherubim" occurs, is in Gen. 3:24, which we translate thus: "And He caused to dwell at the east of the Garden of Eden the Cherubim, and the flame of destruction (lit. of the sword) turning itself to guard the way of the tree of the lives." From this and the context, we learn, that the dwelling place of the Cherubim was eastward in Paradise and contiguous to the tree of lives, to which none could approach who were unfaithful and disobedient. This is the teaching of Moses, who though acquainted with the Egyptian dogma of "immortal souls" in the mortal bodies of all men, women, and babes, taught there was no immortality for faithless and wicked men. In this, Moses and all the prophets, Jesus and the apostles, are all agreed. Men must become Cherubim, they must dwell in Paradise and there eat of the tree of life, as the condition of an interminable existence. All others are obnoxious to "the flame of destruction," styled by Daniel "a fiery stream that issues and comes forth from
before the Ancient of Days; in whose presence minister thousand thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand stand." In this, Daniel exhibits the allegorical signification of the Mosaic narrative respecting the devouring flame. It issues and comes forth from before the Ancient of Days and his thousands, at which time, Daniel testifies, "the judgment sits, and the books are opened." The Eden Cherubim, and Daniel's Ancient of Days and company, are doubtless allegorical, the former of the latter; for Moses wrote not only of the literal, but of that in such a way that he intended something else than is contained in the words literally taken. His writings are therefore both literal and allegorical; and to understand them in their allegorical sense we must pay strict attention to their literal significance, which is "the form of the knowledge and the truth." The literal narrative is "the form"; the "knowledge and the truth" the allegorical signification of that form.
Daniel's Ancient of Days and the ten thousands that surround him in judgment, are equivalent to "the holy messengers and the Lamb," in Rev. 14:10, where we find fire and brimstone before them tormenting their enemies -- the full allegorical development of the Eden Cherubic flame that guarded against all approach to the "tree of lives" by the unfaithful and disobedient. "Whosoever was not found written in the Book of Life, was cast into the lake of fire burning with brimstone" (Rev. 19:20).
The etymology of the word "Cherubim" is said by Gesenius to be obscure; and he suggests what he calls "a new derivation." He says "if the word be of Semitic origin, perhaps we may take the root charav as having a meaning like khuram "to prohibit from a common use." Hence, to consecrate, etc. "So that 'cherub', would be keeper, warden, guard, that is, of the Deity, to guard against all approach." Hyde, in his Religion of the Ancient Persians, page 263, supposes that "'cherub' may be the same as Kerub, the first letter being koph, instead of caph, and signifying one near to God, His minister -- one admitted to His presence." Both these derivations are in accordance with the truth concerning the Cherubim -- nevertheless, not satisfactory to our mind. We believe that the word is derived from the root rachav, "to ride" whether on an animal or in a vehicle. By transposing the first two letters and heemantively inserting wav before the last, we have "cherub" or that which is ridden -- in the plural, "cherubim." This convertibility of' the verb rachav into the noun "cherub" is illustrated in Psalms 18:10, thus:
In Psalm 104:3, the clouds are styled Yahweh's r' chuv or chariot, which is "ch'rub.," with the first two letters transposed.
The "Cherubim," then, constitute a vehicle, in and upon which the Eternal Power self-styled "Ehyeh" or "Yahweh," otherwise "Jehovah," rides as in a chariot. Hence, David, in speaking of them in 1 Chron. 28:18, terms them ham-merchavah hak-cheru- vim," "the chariot of the Cherubim" which, he says, "spread out and covered the ark of covenant of Yahweh." The Spirit is the rider, and the Cherubim the "clouds," the "horses," the "chariots," the "living creatures," the "wheels," the "great waters," the "winged host," upon which He rides. Hence, of the Eternal Spirit it is said: "Behold, He cometh with clouds" -- the clouds of His witnesses, of whom the present evil aion, or course of things, is not worthy (Rev. 1:7; Heb. 12:1; 1 Thess. 4:17); and again: "Was Thy wrath against the sea that Thou didst ride upon Thine horses, Thy chariots of salvation? Thou didst march through the sea with Thine horses, through the heap of great waters" (Hab. 3:8, 15); also, "Whither the Spirit was to go the living creatures went .... and they ran and returned as the appearance of a flash of lightning. And the noise of their wings was like the noise of great waters, as the voice of the Almighty, as the noise of a host" (Ezek. 1:12, 14, 24; Rev. 1:15; 19:14). In this last citation, wings, great waters, Almighty, and host, all refer to the same company -- a multitudinous embodiment of the Effluence of the Eternal Father, who soars on these wings of the Spirit. Wy-yaide-al chanphai ruach (Ps. 18:10).
But the Eternal Spirit not only "rides upon," "soars upon," and "flies upon," but the Father by that Spirit also "inhabits the Cherubim." David, in Psalm 80, and Hezekiah in Isaiah 37:16, say in their address to Yahweh, "O Yahweh of Hosts, Elohim of Israel, inhabiting the Cherubim, shine forth, Thou, He, the Mighty Ones (athtah-hu ha-Elohim). Thou alone of all the kingdoms of the earth; Thou didst make the heavens and the earth." In this passage is a remarkable combination of titles and pronouns in the singular and plural numbers. Yahweh or Jehovah is singular; Elohim, plural; athta-hu, two pronouns in the singular joined to hah-EIohim in the plural: athtah signifies thou, and hu, he in the third person, which in the original text are connected by a hyphen, thus Thou-He. The common version has it "thou art he" in many places, but in the text before us they have omitted the "he" altogether, and instead of the literal rendering, "Thou-He, the Mighty Ones," they have substituted what was not written, namely, "Thou art the God."
The words of Hezekiah literally translated into English are: "O who shall-be hosts, Mighty Ones of Israel, inhabiting the cherubs, Thou-He, the Mighty Ones, Thou alone of all the kingdoms of the earth: Thou didst make the heavens and the earth." This affirms that the Eternal Spirit is the sole creator of all that
exists. He is one, and that unity is expressed by the singular verbal noun, Yahweh, "He who Shall-be," and the pronouns, athtah, "thou," and hu, "he." The Eternal Spirit (Heb. 9:14) as Creator, is necessarily before all things, and is, therefore, the "Theos," and the "Logos" of John 1:3, where it is testified that "all things were made on account of Him; and without Him was made not one thing which exists." This same Eternal Spirit was effluently in Noah, in Moses, in David, and all the prophets, in Jesus and the apostles. One Spirit in these many persons. In the Mosaic system the Effluence of the Eternal Power was represented by "an oil of holy ointment," or "a holy anointing oil" an unction that was not to be commonly used upon pain of death (Exod. 30:25; 1 John 2:20, 27). It was compounded of myrrh, sweet cinnamon, sweet calamus, cassia, and olive oil, after the art of the perfumer. The tabernacle with all it contained, with the altar of burnt offering and all its vessels, the laver and its foot, were all anointed with it, and thereby became most holy, so that whatsoever touched them became holy. Aaron and his sons were also consecrated with it when "the diadem of the anointing oil of his Elohim" was said to be "upon him" (Lev. 21:12). The holy anointing oil was not to be used apart from these, for "upon man's flesh," saith the Law, "it shall not be poured."
The Cherubim were anointed with the most holy unction, by which also they became most holy. It was one holy anointing oil for many things, which in and of themselves differed nothing from that which was common. This principle of "One in Many" is thus foreshadowed in the law and the prophets -- One Eternal Spirit-Power which "shall be" in the "mighty ones of Israel" as it was and is in Jesus of Nazareth -- "Thou," Eternal and Anointing Spirit, art "He" in "the Mighty Ones of Israel," the "Theos and the Logos creator of the heavens and the earth."
The "Holy Anointing Spirit-Oil," is styled by Peter in 1 Peter 1:11, "the Spirit of Christ which was in the prophets": because "Christ" signifies "Anointed," and the Spirit that was poured out upon Jesus and constituted him anointed also, anointed them; hence it was said of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, "touch not Mine anointed, and do My prophets no harm" (1 Chron. 16:22). Speaking of the same Spirit, Nehemiah says: "Thou gavest Israel thy good Spirit to instruct them; and many years didst thou forbear them, and testifiedst against them by thy Spirit in thy prophets; yet would they not give ear: therefore gavest thou them into the power of the peoples of the lands" -- as at this day (Neh. 9:20, 30).
By this Spirit-Effluence the Eternal Power inhabits the Cherubim. The common version makes David and Hezekiah say that Yahweh "dwells between the Cherubim." But the preposition
"between" is not in the original text. The words there are these: yoshaiv hak-cheruvim, "inhabiting the Cherubim." Hence, whatever the cherubs may prove to be, the Eternal Spirit, self-styled Yahweh, dwells in them. Thus Yahweh will dwell (in the holy land) for ever. The chariots of mighty ones (are) two ten thousands, thousands of glorified ones. The Adonai among them in Sinai, the holy. "Thou hast ascended on high; thou hast led captive captivity; thou hast received gifts for 'the Man'; yea, even for 'Yah' Elohim to inhabit rebellious ones" (Psalm 68:16,18). This testifies the future presence of Yahweh or Yah-Elohim, as Adonai or Lords in the holy mount, in the midst of thousands of mighty and glorified ones, as in the days of Moses. These are the chariots of the Spirit -- the Intelligences prefigured in the Cherubs. It testifies also that the Lord "from all eternity" (the Father) and the lords "for all eternity" (the Man), having as "Yah," the Spirit, first, necessarily, descended, afterwards, as the Man ascended on high: that, in ascending, the "Yah-Adam" led captive Death, which made a captive of him, as it does of all mankind, and therefore, styled "captivity"; and that then "as the Man," styled by Paul, who spoke the same things as David, "the last Adam," and "the Second Man," he received gifts -- "spirits" or spiritual gifts; to the end that "Yah"-Elohim --.the Spirit of the Mighty Ones -- "might dwell in the rebellious"; that is, in Gentiles, "by nature sinners," but enlightened by the Gospel of the kingdom, and subjected to "the obedience of faith."
To such, that is, to once rebellious, but now obedient men and women, Paul, speaking of this indwelling, says that "the One Father-Power has decreed the subjection of all things to the last Adam, except Himself; and that when this subjugation is perfected, the Adam shall himself be ranked under the Eternal Power who subdues all things to the Adam that Theos, the Eternal Father, may be "all things in all men." This is Moses and David's teaching of One in Many the effluence of the Eternal inhabiting men, and being "over all, and through all, and with all of them"; as it is also written: "I will dwell in them, and walk in them, and will be a father unto them, and they shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty": and again, "He that sitteth upon the throne shall dwell among them" (1 Cor. 15:27; 2 Cor. 6:16, 18; Eph. 4:6; Rev. 7:15; 21:3).
Here then are the Old and New Testament writers all teaching one and the same doctrine concerning the terrestrial manifestation of the Eternal Power -- one central power over, through, and with many persons by its effluence, each person being eternal power incarnate, and these in their glorified aggregate represented by the Cherubim; the cherub-chariots of the Spirit.
Now that a cherub is representative of an exalted Power is
evident from Adonai-Yahweh's address to the Tyrian Royalty, in Ezek. 28:12-19; as
12. "Thus said Adonai-Yahweh:-- As a signet of curious engraving; Full of wisdom and perfect in splendour art thou.
13. Thou hast been in Eden, the garden of Elohim. Every precious stone thy covering; The ruby, the topaz, and the diamond,The beryl, the Onyx, and the jasper, The sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle. And the workmanship of thy tabrets and thy pipes was of gold in thee: In the day of thy being created they were prepared.
14. Thou 'Anointed Cherub', even I constitute thee a protector; On the holy mountain of the Elohim thou hast been; In sparkling gems, thou didst walk to and fro.
15. Thou hast been upright in thy dealings from the day of thy being created, until iniquity hath been found in thee.
16. Through the greatness of thy traffic they have filled thy midst (with) extortion; And thou hast sinned; therefore, I will break thee out of the mountain of Elohim. And,I will destroy thee, O protecting cherub, from amidst the sparkling gems.
17. Thine heart was lifted up because of thy splendour; Thou hast corrupted thy wisdom because of thy brilliancy; I will prostrate thee upon the earth. I will lay thee before kings to rejoice over thee.
18. From the greatness of thine iniquities through the unrighteousness of thy traffic. Thou hast polluted their holy places; Therefore, I will cause to come forth a fire from thy midst: It shall devour thee, and I will give thee for ashes upon the earth, In the eves of all observers.
19. All that know thee among the peoples were confounded because of thee; Thou shalt be calamities (to them), and nothing of thee till the Olahm*."
* That is, Nothing of thee in Eden till "the time of the end," which immediately precedes and terminates in Olahm, or the Millenium. (Dr. Thomas).
In this quotation, more correctly and, therefore, more intelligibly translated than in the common version, a political power, headed up in the King of Tyre is styled an Anointed Cherub; and the reason appears to have been because Yahweh had "constituted it a Protector" of people, which function is signified by outspread wings, which are an important element of the Cherubic symbol. The Tyrian Power was an "anointed" Cherub in the same sense in which the Pagan Cyrus, King of Persia, was "Yahweh's Anointed," or Messiah, who was surnamed of Yahweh before his birth, and 176 years before he appeared upon the page
of Bible history (Isaiah 45:1-4). The Eternal Spirit created and rode the Tyrian Power, as in a chariot; and developed it as an element of that system of powers, whose relations to Israel in the days of Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel were allegorical of "the powers that be" in their relations to the Hebrew nation, when the Russian Nebuchadnezzar shall make war upon the Anglo-Syrian protector of the Jews in "the holy mountain of the Elohim," and cast it out in the epoch of the thief-like apocalypse of the Ancient of Days and his company of glorified myriads.
The Cherubim stationed as guards at the east of Eden's garden were certain Elohim or powerful Ones, detailed by the Eternal Spirit for the protection of the Life-Imparting Tree, and "the Way," that led thereto. Hence, all communications from the Eternal throne for the instruction of mankind would pass through them. Themselves corporeal localizations of Spirit, they were vehicles in and by which were conveyed "the mysteries of the faith," into which they desired to look, but were not able (1 Pet. 1:12; Mark 13:32). These "conveying vehicles" or chariots of the Eternal Spirit, were "public official spirits sent forth for service on account of those hereafter to inherit salvation" (Heb. 1:14). Hence, they are styled Malachim Yahweh, angels or messengers of the Eternal Power, self-styled Ehyeh or Yahweh. David, addressing these Angel-Elohim, says: "Bless ye Yahweh, ye His angels, mighty of power, executing his command, hearkening to the voice of His word. Bless ye, Yahweh, all ye His hosts, His attendants, executing His pleasure"; and elsewhere "O Yahweh, my Elohim"! -- O Eternal One, my Mighties -- "Thou art very great, covering Thyself with light as a garment, spreading out the heavens as a curtain; who makest dark clouds His chariot; who goes on the wings of spirit, making His messengers spirits, His attendants a flaming fire. He established the earth upon its foundations, that nothing shall be moved during the age and beyond" olahm wah-ed (Psalm 103:20; 104:1-5).
The angelo-elohal cherubic executors of the mandates of the Eternal Power, through His effluence, created our terrestrial system, which is subjected to their secondary administration in all its relations, until "a New Order of Cherubim" shall have been manifested to supersede them. Until then, all things pertaining to this present "evil world," aion, or course of things, are under their supervision and control. They cause all things to work together for good to them who love the "Eternal Ail," and are called according to His purpose (Rom. 8:28). That purpose is the polar star of their administration; so that nothing among the kingdoms and empires of the world is permitted to prosper that would contravene it. "The powers that be" are subordinated to divine power; for "there is no power but of God; the powers that be
have been placed under the Theos" (Rom. 13:1) that is, no power is permitted to exist contrary to and independent of His will. In this sense they are apo Theou "of God"; and that the powers may not run riot in trying to develop their own policy, they are subjected to the guardianship of invisible potentates, which is expressed in Paul's words by the phrase "have been placed under the Theos." The truth of this is amply illustrated in Scripture. Is anything to be accomplished in relation to "Yahweh's" purpose in respect to individuals? He sends three Elohal-Men to Abraham and two to Lot; Jacob saw an encampment of them at Mahanaim, and wrestled with one, who put his thigh out of joint, and surnamed him Israel, at Peniel. He called the place of this contest Peniel, because he had seen penal "the faces of" ,Ail, power; "for," said he, "I have seen Elohim faces to faces, and my soul escaped" (Gen. 32:30) that is, his life was not taken away. It is unnecessary to cite any more instances. The reader's recollection will suggest many.
In relation to national affairs, the Eternal Power employes armies of them. When He gave Israel the law, He descended to the top of Sinai in fire, amid thunders and lightnings, and thick darkness. Clouds of Elohim attended, sounding trumpets long and loud. Moses spake, and the Elohim answered him by a Voice. The words of that voice were written in a book, called the "Book of the Covenant," and are set forth in Exod. 20 to 23 inclusive. When he had dedicated the book with sprinkled blood, Moses and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the Elders of Israel ascended Sinai, and saw the Mighty Ones of Israel, and did eat and drink. None of these were permitted to approach the top of Sinai, but Moses and Joshua, his attendant. All the remaining seventy-two stayed at a lower elevation of the mountain with the Mighty Ones, or Elohim, eating and drinking, and "worshipping afar off." The order was that "Moses alone shall come near YAHWEH," with his attendant. The reader will perceive the distinction here between the Elohim and YAHWEH. The nobles of the children of Israel came nigh to the Elohim, and saw them; and did not see Him. Even Moses, who did come near to the Eternal (The glory of Yahweh was manifested to Moses through the medium of the One from whom he received the Law (see Exod.. 33:18-23; 34:4-8; 24:12-18). This was the work of an angel as Paul and Stephen reveal (Gal. 3:19; Acts 7:53). Moses saw in him "the similitude of Yahweh" (Num. 12-8). Yahweh's Name was named upon him (Exod. 23:20-23) so that he exercised greater authority than the other Elohim as Christ will exercise greater authority than his glorified brethren. -- Publishers.)- did not see His face; for said he, "there shall no man see me, and live; thou shalt see my back parts, Moses, but my face shall not be seen" (Exod. 33:20). Paul testified the same
thing in 1 Tim. 6: 16, saying: "the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords only hath immortality, dwell ing in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see." The Hebrew nation saw the symbol of YAHWEH'S presence on the mountain top "The glory of Yahweh like devouring fire," the original Eden-Cherubic glory -- but neither they, Moses, nor their nobles, saw the face of the Eternal Substance himself.
Here, then, are two grand occasions upon which Yahweh visited the earth in His Cherubic-Chariot -- first: "when He laid the foundations of the earth; when the Stars of the Morning sang together, and all the Sons of God shouted for joy"; and, secondly, when He descended to Sinai's top and proclaimed the law. These myriads of attending Elohim are "the wings" of His celestial forces, "full of eyes," with which, as the Great Charioteer of the universe, He "wheels" through the infinitude of space "as the appearance of the lightning's flash." If the necessity of one of His prophets in the execution of His mission demand the succour of Omnipotence, He is near with His cherubic legions -- His "twelve legions of angels" -- to afford it, as in the case of Elisha at Dothan, who was surrounded by horses and chariots of fire, more than all the cavalry and war-chariots of Syria, despatched to seize him (2 Kings 6:17).
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